KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A lot has changed in the makeup of Iowa State’s roster since the last time it stood on this court in downtown Kansas City, colored confetti falling from the rafters and a trophy being hoisted.
Sure, this team looks different. Certainly, though, it isn’t this different.
The idea of what this new version will be surely isn’t what unfolded Tuesday, which ultimately resulted in a 73-62 loss to Maryland in the CBE Classic Championship. The figurative lid on the rim never lifted, the spacing never spread, and Iowa State leaves not with a trophy, but with kinks.
“It wasn’t us,” coach Fred Hoiberg said. “You look at the box score, we had eight assists, you have seven turnovers. We weren’t running. Adversity kind of hit us [and] we folded. A-to-Z, you name it, we just weren’t very good tonight.”
The shooting woes started early with the Cyclones going on a 3-minute, 20-second scoring drought midway through the first half. Iowa State went 3-of-16 behind the arc in the first half, and Maryland ultimately took a 3-point lead to the break helped by a barrage of 3s.
Iowa State’s shooting didn’t improve from there. In fact, the shooting percentage only spiraled downward. That free fall began with a 5-minute, 28-second scoreless streak to begin the second half, in which the Cyclones missed nine consecutive shots and Maryland extended its lead to nine.
The Cyclones missed their final four shots of the game and hit just 7-of-33 shots (21.2 percent) in the second half overall.
“It happens, you miss shots,” said Georges Niang, who went 4-of-14 from the field. “You can’t fault that, that’s just how it’s going to happen. I can’t remember the last time we shot this bad.”
That bad ended up being 29.7 percent from the field, the second-worst shooting percentage in the Hoiberg Era. Iowa State hadn’t shot this poorly since 2011 when it shot 27.1 percent in a loss to Missouri.
Some of Tuesday night’s troubles were attributed to an off-night — a reverse layup that rimmed out here and 3-pointers that did there — but other parts came from less-than-ideal shot selection.
“Worse than that, our spacing was just brutal,” Hoiberg said. “We weren’t getting to the corners on the break. We just weren’t playing for each other tonight, I guess that’s the best way to put it.”
There were bright spots in the loss. Bryce Dejean-Jones scored a game-high 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting, and Daniel Edozie offered a productive 15 minutes off the bench, scoring eight points while adding five rebounds.
The rest was a figurative early-season punch for the No. 13 Cyclones.
“[We] really got to do a better job of finding guys and getting them going,” Niang said. “Eight assists isn’t us. We’ve just got to go back and rebuild and sometimes you’d like to think getting punched in the mouth will help regroup you.”
Certainly a lot has changed since Iowa State’s spring trip to the Sprint Center, but surely the Cyclones’ first loss is a bump in the road ahead of the many months that await before their return to this very court.
“Now you get back and see what you’re made of as a team,” Hoiberg said. “It’s how you respond to adversity and certainly a lot of it hit us tonight [and] we didn’t respond very well on the court.”